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More than 1,000 attend GSU Math Tournament

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Posted: March 12, 2008 4:12 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
More than 1,000 attend GSU Math Tournament

The team from Trinity Christian is shown at the 20th Annual Regional Math Tournament held Saturday at Georgia Southern University.


    Some of the best mathematics students from public, private and parochial schools in Southeast Georgia gathered over the weekend at Georgia Southern University’s Hanner Fieldhouse. Their purpose: to compete and “cipher” for top honors in the college’s 20th Annual Regional Math Tournament.
    The event was organized by Georgia Southern’s Math Department for the 764 students that came from as far away as Brunswick, Augusta and Macon. Dr. Martha Abell, Math Department chair, and tournament director Sr. Susie Lanier, all of GSU’s math faculty and some 200 undergraduate math students were on hand to greet the kids. Hanner was the only venue anywhere near large enough to hold the more than 1,000 advisors, students and parents assembled.
    The tournament began with the students heading off to classrooms scattered throughout the campus to take a series of four written tests, each of which was worth 200 points. They took a break for lunch, and, when they returned, the real “fun” began at Hanner.
    Situated on the floor of the Hanner gym, 191 teams made up of four members each and separated by varsity, junior varsity and middle school team competitions began competing in the Ciphering Competition.
    Each question was worth as much as 10 points. If the team answered the problem correctly within the first minute, they were given 10 points; if they answered it correctly within the second minute, they got five points. A wrong answer or no answer within the allotted two minutes netted no points.
    After all the answers were given, the waiting for the awards began. The first awards were given out for the “Computer Stars” competition. The overall winner,  for the second year in a row, was Kenneth Allen, a senior at Savannah Arts Academy.
When the Math Tournament awards were announced, Bulloch County schools began to shine.
    In Division Two, Southeast Bulloch High School nearly stole the show. SEB students won first, second, and third place in the Varsity Individual awards. First place went to Casey Woodrum, second to Corrie Hicks and third to Aaron Groover. SEB’s Team 1 took the top Varsity Team award as well.
    Southeast Bulloch High principal Joni Walker-Seier said: “I am just amazed at the level of competition and the accomplishments of this math team. They work so hard to prepare for these events, and work together so well that they shine as team-mates as well as individuals.”
    In the junior varsity competition, SEB students fared even better. The team brought home all three top Junior Varsity Individual awards: First place went to Greg Parker, second to Sam Hicks and third to Tim Montgomery. In the team ciphering competition, SEB’s Team 2 earned first place and the school’s Team 1 took home second place.
    Southeast Bulloch High School Principal Joni Walker-Seier said “I am just amazed at the level of competition and the accomplishments of this math team. They work so hard to prepare for these events, and work together so well that they shine as team-mates as well as individuals.”
    Walker-Seier also praised her coaches.
    “Mrs. Susan Boddiford and Mrs. Iris Meek have selflessly given of their time and energy all year long,” she said. “I can’t help but think that their commitment and dedication, as well as the enthusiasm they show when working with their kids, has to be one of the reasons that Southeast Bulloch’s Math Teams have done so well.”
    Statesboro High students also performed well. In Division One, Statesboro’s Julie Shen won second place in the Junior Varsity Individual Awards. Statesboro’s Team 1 took second and their Team 2 placed third in the Junior Varsity Team Competition. SHS’s Team 1 won third place in the Varsity Team competition, as well.
    Statesboro High Principal Dr. Marty Waters was pleased with his students’ performance.
    “I am so proud of their accomplishments, which is indicative of all the hard work they have put forth and the time they have spent studying which allowed for their successes,” Waters said. “In particular, I want to thank math teacher and math coach Paige Sutcliffe for all the time she has spent with her kids, be it in the morning, noon, and the afternoon. Her selfless devotion to these students is what makes her one of the best teachers we have.”
    Other Bulloch County school had their moments in the spotlight. as well. Portal Middle School’s Mitchell Duckworth took home third place in the Middle School Individual awards in Division 2; and Langston Chapel’s Supriya Immaneni took home third place in the Middle School Individual awards in Division 1. Southeast Bulloch Middle’s Junior Varsity Team 1 took home the third place award. Bulloch Academy’s Team 1 came away with a third place in the Varsity Team awards.
    Trinity Christian School of Statesboro also did well in Division 3. In junior varsity, their Team 1 won second place, and student Katie Manrodt earned a second place in the Junior Varsity Individual awards. also 10th grader Hannah Sharp took home her grade’s award in the “Computer Stars” competition.
    Trinity Christian headmaster David W. Lattner said: “I’m very proud of how our students did. I especially appreciate all the hard work that their math advisors, Mrs. Donna McKenna and Mrs. Dale Gibson put in with them in anticipation of this math meet.”
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